×

Pedro Almodovar to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Venice Film Festival

Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodovar will be honored by the Venice Film Festival with a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.

The Spanish director, 69, is having a good year after his “Pain and Glory” was recently one of the standout movies in competition in Cannes, where it was praised by Variety’s Peter Debruge as “a remarkable mature meta-fiction, exploring the emotional scars that underlie his own physical frailty.” Lead actor and frequent Almodovar collaborator Antonio Banderas won the award for best actor in Cannes for his depiction of an aging director loosely based on Almodovar himself.

I am very excited and honored by the gift of this Golden Lion,” Almodovar said in a statement.

Almodovar is the second person set to be feted during Venice’s upcoming edition. Oscar-winning actress Julie Andrews’ Golden Lion was announced in March. The two honorees follow the pattern of Venice awarding career prizes to an actor and a director.

Almodovar, whose oeuvre spans 21 movies, said he has good memories of Venice, where he made his international debut in 1983 with his third feature, the black comedy “Dark Habits,” which marked “the first time one of my films traveled out of Spain.”

“It was my international baptism and a wonderful experience,” said Almodovar, who returned to the Lido in 1988 with Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” the film that brought him international recognition.

Venice chief Alberto Barbera praised Almodovar as “the greatest and most influential Spanish director since Buñuel, and moreover as “a filmmaker who has offered us the most multifaceted, controversial, and provocative portraits of post-Franco Spain.”

Barbera added: “The topics of transgression, desire, and identity are the terrain of choice for his films, which he imbues with corrosive humor and adorns with a visual splendor that confers unusual radiance on the aesthetic camp and pop art to which he explicitly refers.”

Almodovar’s career started in 1980 with “Pepi, Luci, Bom,” a no-budget film made as a cooperative effort with the rest of the crew and the cast who were all inexperienced, except actress for Carmen Maura.

In 1986, he founded the production company El Deseo with his brother Agustin. Their first project was “Law of Desire.” Since then, they have produced all of Almodovar’s films and have also produced works by other prominent directors then at the start of their careers such as Lucretia Martel’s “The Holy Girl” and “The Headless Woman.”

With “All About my Mother” (1999) Almodovar won his fist Oscar which was for best foreign film. Three years later, “Talk to Her” earned him an Academy Award for Best Script.

The 76th Venice Film Festival will run Aug. 28 to Sept. 7. The lineup will be announced July 25.

More Film

  • MPAA Logo

    Motion Picture Association of America Hires Emily Lenzner as Communications Chief

    The Motion Picture Association of America has appointed veteran public relations executive Emily Lenzner as its executive VP of global communications and public affairs. She will report to Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin and oversee the trade group’s communications team in the U.S. and internationally. Lenzner will start Aug. 1 and be based at the MPAA’s [...]

  • See Taylor Swift Unveil Feline Moves

    See Taylor Swift Unveil Feline Moves for First Time in 'Cats' Behind-the-Scenes Teaser

    Taylor Swift fans finally get to see some of the results of all those years spent studying her roommates Meredith and Olivia — and also, not incidentally, some time with a choreographer — in a new behind-the-scenes teaser for the movie “Cats.” The three-and-a-half-minute featurette has footage of Swift striking crouching feline moves as well [...]

  • CGR’s Immersive Premium Format Set for

    Immersive Theater Technology Set for US Debut in Los Angeles

    French multiplex company CGR Cinemas has selected the Regal LA Live as the first U.S. theater to use its Immersive Cinema Experience technology. The ICE format will be unveiled in the fall at the downtown location in a partnership between CGR and AEG. The companies made the announcement Wednesday but did not reveal which title [...]

  • Amazon Developing Original Series Based on

    Amazon Studios Buys 'Selah and the Spades,' Will Develop Original Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to “Selah and the Spades,” a gripping look at a prep school drug dealer, Variety has learned. The film marks the feature debut of writer and director Tayarisha Poe and had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival where it was a favorite with critics. Amazon has [...]

  • The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con

    The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con Parties and Activations

    Hollywood is heading down the California coast to San Diego because It’s time for 2019 Comic-Con International. The annual cosplay celebration officially kicks off tomorrow, July 18, with a preview happening tonight. Here, Variety gives you a guide to this year’s parties and activations. Make sure to check back for updates. Wednesday, July 17Amazon Prime [...]

  • The Wound African Cinema Berlin Film

    Finance Forum Brings African WIP Into Focus at Durban FilmMart

    The 10th edition of the Durban FilmMart, which unspools parallel to the 40th Durban Intl. Film Festival, will feature 10 fiction and 10 documentary works-in-progress taking part in its annual Finance Forum. The leading co-production market on the continent, the Forum brings together producers, distributors, sales agents, broadcasters, funding bodies, and other industry players from across the [...]

  • The Lion King

    'The Lion King' Looks to Roar Life Into Domestic Box Office

    Hollywood just can’t wait for “The Lion King” to hit theaters. That’s because Disney’s highly anticipated remake is expected to draw herds of moviegoers at a time when ticket sales are seriously struggling. Box office watchers predict that the studio’s grand return to the Pride Lands could become one of this year’s biggest hits. “The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content